According to this article (at livescience.com), religion is actually good for kids. Huh. What an enlightening fact. ;o) Here are a few article excerpts, with my comments:
Study: Religion is Good for Kids
By Melinda Wenner, Special to LiveScience
posted: 24 April 2007 09:39 am ET
'The kids whose parents regularly attended religious services—-especially when both parents did so frequently—-and talked with their kids about religion were rated by both parents and teachers as having better self-control, social skills and approaches to learning than kids with non-religious parents.'
There are those who support taking all religious influences out of the lives of all children. I wonder if secular, scientific studies such as this one have any bearing on the belief systems of these anti-religious individuals. They pay heed to other scientific studies--do they selectively edit which studies they will allow to form their worldview? Their faith? Because, like it or not, a refusal not to believe in a deity is as much a faith position as is the choice to believe in a deity.
'[John Bartkowski, a Mississippi State University sociologist] thinks religion can be good for kids for three reasons. First, religious networks provide social support to parents, he said, and this can improve their parenting skills.
'...Secondly, the types of values and norms that circulate in religious congregations tend to be self-sacrificing and pro-family, Bartkowski told LiveScience. These “could be very, very important in shaping how parents relate to their kids, and then how children develop in response,” he said.'
I'm glad that this researcher has come to this conclusion. I simply don't understand why it takes a scientific study before humans will recognize the things that quite a few religions have been teaching for millennia.
'Finally, religious organizations imbue parenting with sacred meaning and significance, he said.
'University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, who was not involved in the study, agrees.'
If all parents could come to see that their responsibility and right to parent comes from a higher source, what kind of dramatic and wonderful change might come over societies worldwide? Of course, I am speaking from a completely idealistic standpoint....but just imagine the amazing and beautiful changes that would occur! No more abuse, no more authoritarianism, no more lack of nurture, no more lack of discipline, no more lack of love...
'But as for why religious organizations might provide more of a boost to family life than secular organizations designed to do the same thing, that’s still somewhat of a mystery, said Annette Mahoney, a psychologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, also not involved in the research. Mahoney wondered: “Is there anything about religion and spirituality that sets it apart?”' (emphasis added)
'It’s also possible that the correlation between religion and child development is the other way around, [Bartkowski] said. In other words, instead of religion [sic] having a positive effect on youth, maybe the parents of only the best behaved children feel comfortable in a religious congregation.'
Umm....I don't think so. (Just speaking from personal observation!) ;o}
Food for thought, dear neighbors!